Nina DiSesa has worked in the quintessential boys clubs of advertising for almost thirty years. In 1994, she became the first woman EVP, Executive Creative Director for McCann Erickson New York, the flagship office of the largest advertising agency in the world. Under her creative leadership, the New York office enjoyed an unprecedented 5-year growth period adding almost $2.5 billion in billings. In 1998, she was made Chairman as well as Chief Creative Officer of McCann New York. She was the first woman and first creative director to be named chairman in the McCann global network.
In 1999, Nina was chosen by Fortune magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.” In 2005, she received the Matrix Award, given each year to a select group of women in communication. In 2007, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame for CEBA (Creative Excellence in Business Advertising).
Nina DiSesa: Yeah, we all of us have a creative process and part of that is the structure that the advertising business itself gives us. We do what we call a strategic document and that document gives us all the bricks that we need to build the house, its like the architecture plan to built the house, but eventually it all comes down to you and your partner, we always work in teams, art directed person and a writing person together although those lines are blurred now and then we sit down at 11 o’clock at night and our office is trying to think of something really bright that nobody else has thought of before and that process usually involves drinking a lot of water, and going to the bathroom, because when you go to the bathroom, either in the bathroom or in the shower, its the one time you actually let your brain relax enough to think of something for you. Otherwise if you are too stress down and you are working so hard to the think of something your brain just closes up on you. So, we have a lot of water in the agency and every single time somebody comes back from the bathroom, they always say, when they come in the door, “I have an idea” and may not be the best idea or they idea, but its an idea, and that usually we feed on each others ideas and that’s how we build and get to where nobody else has been. Recorded on: 2/29/08